Decorating with Yellow

Thinking of going yellow in your home decor? Read my tips for decorating with yellow before you do!

flatlay decorating with yellow featuring yellow accents and fabrics

Yellow is one of my favorite colors to decorate with! I adore the sunny hue in small doses and the way a cheery yellow can instantly brighten and enliven a space. As a teenager my parents let me paint my bedroom a vibrant marigold shade, and I loved that space!

Yellow at its best is a happy color that can go from tranquil and mellow to vivid and bold, but it is all too easy to get the tone wrong or end up with a glaring yellow school bus disaster when using this color in your home decor.

One of the hardest lessons to learn about yellow is that a little goes a long way.

This especially applies when painting with yellow. Always remember that the little square paint chip of yellow may look perfect, but when you wash entire walls in it, the color will be even brighter and bolder. I often encourage clients to step up or down in shade from their favorite to actually get the best wall color.

Some Basics to Decorating with Yellow


  • Match your undertones.
  • When pairing with wood go really light or dark. Mid-tone woods tend to have a honey tone that is only heightened when paired with warm yellows.
  • Pair green and yellow for a garden-esque vibe that feels very natural.
  • Balance out the warmth of yellow with a pretty mix of blues.

When It’s Right

  • Generally yellow is perceived as warm and energizing make sure this is the mood you want to create in your space.
  • Yellow is a great choice for dark rooms with little natural light or north facing rooms with cool light.
  • Yellow is a wonderful complement to largely neutral spaces. It brightens black, gray, and brown while pairing beautifully with white.

Decorating with Yellow Walls

  • It strongly reflects light and is the first color the eye sees, so it is guaranteed to stand out!
  • Yellow is a competitive color that influences the other colors around it.
  • The best yellow for walls is a muddier hue with gray or bronze undertones, so choose the less exciting paint chip.
  • Yellow can be a neutral when it is muted to a pale butter shade.
  • This color works well with a variety of interior styles from Tuscan to French Country and Chinoiserie to Grandmillennial.

My Favorite Yellow Paint Colors:

Weston Flax BM HC-5

Hawthorne Yellow BM HC-4

Fresh Butter BM 290

Wildflowers BM 325

Venetian Yellow SW 1666

Lemon Chiffon SW 6686

Decorating with yellow flat lay with yellow ceramics, fabric, wallpaper, and decorative accents

Decorating with Yellow Accents

If you’ve been thinking of adding more yellow to your home decor, I hope this post has helped you feel more confident when decorating with this happy hue. For more of my yellow decor picks, head here.


  1. Jean Burke on April 9, 2022 at 10:39 am

    The word you are spelling with an “I” compliment, is not the word you need: “complement.”
    It is like a complementary angle, part of the figure.

    • Katherine on April 9, 2022 at 11:12 am

      You’re so right! I missed that in proof-reading!

I bet you've got something to say! Comment below!